New Cold-Immune Battery Charges at Freezing Temperatures


Electric VehicleCalifornia is the state with the most electric vehicles right now. There are plenty of reasons for that. First one is urban air quality concerns. Because of them, the state provides subsidies if you want to buy an electric car, making it easier and more attractive to buy one.

However, one of the most important reasons for that is the Californian warm climate. Widely-used by car manufacturers, lithium-ion batteries do not charge rapidly at temperatures below 50° F. But Penn State researches developed a battery that will break the previously mentioned limit and will allow enjoying your Tesla even in Alaska.

The new battery has the ability to heat itself. It will allow a rapid 15-minute charge at a temperature above -45° F. Engineers used a thin nickel foil with one end attached to a negative terminal and the other one going outside the battery to create an additional terminal. They use a temperature sensor attached to a switch that whenever the temperature is below the room temperature, causes electrons to flow through the foil to complete the circuit. Because of the resistance, the foil heats up and warms the battery. When the temperature rises above room temperature, the switch will activate and the battery starts charging.

The researchers have tested their batteries. The result was amazing. After 4,500 cycles of 15-minute charging at 32° F, the battery lost only about 20-percent of its original capacity. Therefore, you will be able to drive with the same battery for approximately 280,000 miles or use the battery for 12.5 years. Compared to similar existing chemistries, which show the same capacity loss under the same conditions after 50 charges, this is an outstanding result.

[Via ChEnected]

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